Coastal storm bringing snowfall to northwest of Rhode Island


SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — A coastal storm brought light snowfall to northwest Rhode Island on Sunday.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) said while they weren’t anticipating much accumulation on the roads, they were ready.

The timing could lead to slick roads and decreased visibility Sunday night into Monday morning, according to the Pinpoint Weather Team.

AAA Northeast says drivers should give themselves extra time during Monday morning’s commute.

“We always want to remind motorists when we do need to travel to work or to school take the main roads, try to avoid those back roads that might not be cleared as quickly. Stay in the lane on the highway that looks most clear,” Diana Gugliotta said.

Three of RIDOT’s seven districts were fully staffed Sunday night. Highway Maintenance Operations Engineer Joe Bucci said they did not need to pretreat roads because of the recent above freezing temperatures.

“The road temperatures have been warm. Today was cold but overall it’s been fairly warm so the roads should be ok. But like I said we will have resources available to treat the roads before the morning commute if need be,” he said.

AAA Northeast said when a storm is approaching they keep their call center and roadside assistance technicians fully staffed. Although, they say the number one issue drivers call about when there is snow may not be what people expect.

“Batteries are strained in the heat of Summer but it’s when we get those first few freezing days that we see battery failures. Here in New England the life cycle of a battery is typically 5 years,” Gugliotta said.

Winter parking bans are already in effect for Smithfield and Woonsocket through Monday afternoon.

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